I Want to Go to Church
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 24.
hree women knocked on the door of Teresa’s home in Rome, Italy. The women were kind, and they offered to read the Bible with the family. Mother didn’t go to church at the time, and she wasn’t interested in reading the Bible with the women. Teresa was only 9, but she wanted to know more about the Bible.
“Please, Mother, can I read the Bible with them?” she begged.
Mother was happy that Teresa wanted to know more about the Bible. So, she agreed that the women could come every Sunday and read the Bible with her daughter.
After that, the three women came every Sunday afternoon. The women and the girl read the Bible together for an hour every time. After they read the Bible, Teresa told Mother about what she was learning. Sometimes Mother didn’t agree with what the women told Teresa. On those occasions, Mother opened her own Bible and showed Teresa what the Bible said. Even though Mother didn’t go to church, she knew the Bible very well and had a Bible.
One time, the women told Teresa that she should worship God in church on Sunday. Teresa told Mother about what they had said. Mother opened her Bible and read the fourth commandment. She read, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.” (Exodus 20:8-10, NKJV).
When she finished reading, Mother said, “So you see, Teresa, the Bible teaches that the seventh day, Sabbath, is the correct day to worship God, not Sunday.”
One day, the women invited Teresa to go to their church. Teresa really wanted to go. She pleaded with Mother to take her to their church.
“I want to go to church,” Teresa said.
Finally, Mother gave in.
“OK, I’ll take you there,” she said.
But a few days later, Teresa and Mother went on vacation to Romania. Mother was born in Romania, and they went to visit relatives there.
One morning, Mother told Teresa to get ready to go to church. Teresa thought that they would go to the church belonging to the denomination of the three women. She happily went with Mother to church.
Teresa liked the church very much. Adults and other children greeted her with joy. Everyone was very friendly.
When the worship service finished, Mother surprised her. “This is a Seventh-day Adventist church,” Mother said.
It was then that Teresa realized that Mother had not taken her to the church that she had wanted to attend. But she didn’t mind. She was happy because she had really enjoyed the Sabbath worship service.
Mother was happy that Teresa liked the church. She had grown up in an Adventist family.
When Teresa returned to Italy, she wanted to keep going to church on Sabbath.
“I want to go to church,” she said.
Mother agreed to take her. They found the address of an Adventist church in Rome and put it into the map navigator app on Mother’s cell phone. But they couldn’t seem to find the church. When they exited the nearest train station to the church, they walked and walked and walked. Three times they followed the navigator’s directions, and three times they ended up back at the train station. Making matters worse, it was very hot. It was summer, near the end of August.
Teresa and Mother stopped walking. Teresa was very disappointed. She prayed, “God, I want to go to Your house. I’m looking for You. Why can’t I find You?”
When she finished the prayer, she turned her head and read on a sign, “Seventh-day Adventist Church.” They had found it! They were standing right in front of the church building!
Teresa and Mother entered the church and worshiped God that Sabbath.
Today, Teresa is 14, and she and Mother go to church every Sabbath. Her two older brothers and sister also go to church. God used Teresa to bring her whole family to church.
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today that will help people in the Inter-European Division learn the good news about Jesus and His soon coming. The offering will help five mission projects in four countries, including an elementary school and an after-school center in Mother’s homeland of Romania. Thank you for your offering.